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July 2020
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‘Ohio State’ Articles

Buckeyes aiding COVID-19 Relief Efforts: A look at who is involved

Mike Conley, Kirk Herbstreit, Sam Hubbard, Cardale Jones, Chris Spielman, Michael Thomas and Denzel Ward among former players and current coaches making a difference

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As athletes and coaches around the country have rallied together to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, so too have current and former Ohio State Buckeyes and members of the athletic department. Below, based on news and social media reports, is a recap of some of those involved, their actions and impact.


Mike Conley provides assistance to five communities
NBA All-Star and current Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley gave $200,000 in June to organizations in five different communities, each of which he has a personal connection to. His donations were distributed to the Utah Food Bank in Salt Lake City; CodeCrew in Memphis; Community Shelter Board and the Columbus Urban League in Columbus; the Indianapolis Public Schools Foundation in Indianapolis and the New Haven Missionary Baptist Church in West Helena, Arkansas.


Conley’s contributions all addressed critical needs in those communities that included food security, remote learning and homelessness.


“Community has always been important to me and during the COVID-19 crisis, I’m reminded of the support and sacrifices of others,” Conley tweeted.


Kirk Herbstreit Partners with KIPP Columbus to assist families

Former football captain and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit partnered with KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Columbus to support local families experiencing hardship due to the coronavirus: he donated funds to pay their expenses (utility bills, rent, groceries, mortgage payments, insurances, etc.) for a three-month period.


KIPP Columbus is part of a national network of free, open-enrollment public schools that prepares students in underserved communities for success in college. Founded in 2008 with 50 students in the fifth grade, it has expanded to 2,000 students in fifth through 12th grades.


“Kirk wanted to do something that would make an immediate impact in the lives of families,” Hannah Powell, KIPP Columbus Executive Director, said. “And it wasn’t just about giving and making sure the money was there. He wanted to be a part of sharing this news with our families.”


In live, zoom or streaming video sessions with the families, Herbstreit spent time talking to them and sharing with them some good news during a very difficult time.


“Part of what I wanted to do, besides groceries, was try to make a real impact on you guys and try to help out because I know this is a tough time,” Herbstreit said in one of the videos. “So for the next three months, I want to take care of all of your bills.”


Herbstreit’s gift of $100,000 supported 60 students at the school and their families.


Sam Hubbard raises funds for his hometown

Sam Hubbard, a Cincinnati native who is entering his third season with his hometown Bengals, has partnered with the Freestone Foodbank and to date has raised over $86,000. That total will provide approximately 250,000 meals for those in need.


Hubbard told that he got the idea thanks in part to his jersey number – 94 – after creating a GoFundMe page. He matched the first $9,400 raised, which took very little time – especially after Carlos Dunlap, his teammate on the defensive line, announced on social media that he’d match funds as well.


With the help of Bengals ownership, Hubbard’s effort resulted in more than $56,000 raised over the course of just three days. As of last Monday, it had reached $86,000.


“I’ve got the figures,” Hubbard said to “I just wanted to show I’m actually giving my own money; you can do it, too. I’m just trying to be a little bit of a leader that way. Give people the push they need to start donating. It’s amazing to see how they were giving $15, $25, whatever they could and it just adds up.”


Cardale Jones endorses company delivering PPE materials
National championship-winning quarterback Cardale Jones has becomes a spokesperson for a subscription based company that delivers important PPE products to customer’s doorstep. The supplies include masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and cell phone covers.


The company, run by two Columbus, residents, offers four different subscriptions that range from a one-month supply to one year’s worth.


“During times like these, it’s important to keep you and your loved ones protected,” Jones tweeted.

Chris Spielman auction raises funds for COVID-19 relief

Chris Spielman took to Twitter and eBay in April and successfully met his goal of raising $40,000 by auctioning of personal gear and memorabilia. The largest single auction piece was his 1984 Big Ten championship ring, which sold for $12,000. His 1986 Big Ten championship ring went for $6,200.


His plan is to give away $1,000 over 40 weeks to those in need of financial assistance.


“What resonates with me is that God has given me an ability to do something and not just sit and do nothing,” Spielman said to The Dispatch. “I have to do something. I have the ability and means to help. So I’m not going to just sit and not do anything.”


Spielman’s other items were all tied to his NFL career, which included eight years with the Detroit Lions, two with the Buffalo Bills and a stint in the 1999 preseason with the Cleveland Browns.


Michael Thomas helps relieve medical debt; supports front line workers
Pro Bowl wide receiver Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints has gone above and beyond to help the New Orleans community. Earlier this month, he announced a partnership with RIP Medical Debt to relieve more than $2 million in medical bills for over 1,000 area residents.


That gift came just a month after Thomas partnered with Raising Cane’s and donated more than 3,000 meals for frontline workers from Louisiana-based Ochsner Health.


“I wanted to do my part and support our frontline health-care workers who are caring for so many in our community,” Thomas said to “I thought they would enjoy having some Cane’s during their shift. And I’m grateful to my friend, [Raising Canes Founder and CEO] Todd Graves, for joining me in letting our health-care workers know how much they are appreciated.”

Denzel Ward aids COVID-19 victims

One of Hubbard’s teammates while at Ohio State, Denzel Ward, is also doing his part to help those in need in another corner of the state of Ohio.


Ward, the No. 4 overall selection of the Cleveland Browns in 2017, helped 21 individuals and small businesses that need assistance by paying for their largest monthly expense.


Those in need of Ward’s assistance registered through his foundation – Make Them Know Your Name – and he personally called them to deliver the news. More than 1,000 applications were received in just 48 hours.


“This pandemic has touched me a lot, seeing people affected by this,” Ward told USA Today Sports. “It was so unexpected. It caught people by surprise. That’s why I wanted to take a load off their back.”


Smith, Day, Holtmann and Buckeye coaching staff support Mid-Ohio Foodbank

Three Ohio State athletics families – athletics director Gene Smith and his wife, Shelia, head football coach Ryan Day and his wife, Nina, and head basketball coach Chris Holtmann and his wife, Lori – joined together in donating $35,000 per month between April and August to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s Emergency Fund. The gift will total $175,000.


Ohio State’s assistant football coaches also joined in those efforts, combining to pledge an additional $47,000.


“Our program and players have made many visits to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank over the years and we all feel a responsibility to assist during this time of crisis,” associate head coach Larry Johnson said.






PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jerry Emig with assistance from Mike Basford and Dan Wallenberg


Ohio State named 2020 Sustainability Award Winner by NACDA & USG

June 23, 2020



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OSU received the award for its work on The Schumaker Complex

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USG Corporation (NYSE: USG) have announced The Ohio State University (OSU) as the winner of the sixth annual USG NACDA Sustainability Award. Ohio State received the award for its work on The Schumaker Complex.


Pending fall competition schedules, the Sustainability Award will be presented to Ohio State at an on-campus event later this year.


“We’re honored to receive this award, as it is a great testament to the hard work of many in our department,” said Gene Smith, Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director at Ohio State. “The process of creating and maintaining sustainability processes for The Schumaker Complex, Covelli Center and Jennings Wrestling Facility were truly a team effort. We also know that moving forward, continuing to find ways to keep the facilities on the forefront of sustainability will be critically important.”


As the winner, Ohio State will receive $40,000 in USG product. The Sustainability Award was designed to recognize NACDA member institutions across all divisions, honoring athletics directors and their universities for incorporating sustainable practices and materials into their athletics facilities. A six-person committee consisting of athletics directors across the country and representatives from USG and NACDA aided in selecting Ohio State as this year’s award winner.


“We are extremely excited to award the sixth annual USG NACDA Sustainability Award to The Ohio State University. The Schumaker Complex, Covelli Center and Jennings Wrestling Facility are a representation of the cutting edge sustainability practices being adopted across the entire OSU campus,” said USG Senior Manager, Corporate Accounts Joshua Powell. “USG is immensely proud to support the sustainability efforts of colleges and universities around the country and we look forward to continuing our engagement in supporting their sustainable practices and goals.”


“Ohio State has produced some of the most impressive facilities in college athletics, and for The Schumaker Complex to have as positive an impact from a sustainability standpoint as a student-athlete experience standpoint is an accomplishment worth recognizing,” said NACDA Chief Executive Officer Bob Vecchione. “NACDA is proud to continue its partnership with USG to highlight the new standard of sustainability in our industry.”


In 2015, Ohio State President Michael Drake approved the Ohio State Sustainability Goals. The integration of sustainability into the performative goals and leadership structure of Ohio State athletics can be seen in the development of the new Athletics District. As a part of Phase 1 of the Athletics District, the facilities completed were The Schumaker Complex, a 125,00-square-foot wellness facility; The Covelli Center, a 3,700 seat arena; and the Jennings Wrestling Facility, a 20,000-square-foot practice facility for Ohio State wrestling. The Schumaker Complex has achieved LEED Gold and the combined Covelli Center and Jennings Wrestling Facility will soon be confirmed LEED Silver.


Initially, the Covelli Center and the Jennings Wrestling Facility were going to be separate buildings, but after considering the cost savings, resource savings and maintenance efficiency that a combined building would provide, the structures were combined. The low flow fixtures in place at the Covelli Center are estimated to save 130,000 gallons of water annually. The Schumaker Complex’s use of natural lighting and energy conservation measures are reducing estimated annual energy consumption by over 23 percent. Both facilities include smart energy metering devices that will allow Ohio State to track the event and building total energy consumption as Ohio State strives to be carbon neutral by 2050. The Athletics District includes bicycle parking, electric vehicle charging stations (at The Schumaker Complex), City of Columbus and Ohio State bus stops, and walking access from central campus.


In addition, at Ohio State, the buildings are only a piece of the whole story. The emphasis at OSU is “The People, The Tradition, The Excellence”, and the athletics staff and student-athletes are living this motto every day. More than 800 student-athletes use spaces such as the shared dining, study and social spaces in The Schumaker Complex. Student-athletes from fencing, rowing, cross-country, men’s and women’s gymnastics, cheer, and others are working to initiate and expand sustainability initiatives of their teams and events. Men’s and women’s gymnastics student-athletes hosted their second annual Zero Waste Meets at the Covelli Center this year, where the aim was to divert 90 percent of waste from those competitions away from the landfill.


Athletics maintenance and the OSU Golf Course staff are maintaining native plants and incorporating electric landscaping tools into their operations. Building staff at The Schumaker Complex and Covelli Center and Jennings Wrestling Facility are utilizing Green Seal certified cleaning chemicals (85 percent of products are certified), expanding waste diversion opportunities, and utilizing the energy conservation measures as they were designed with the buildings.


The Athletics District has allowed the Ohio State department of athletics to continue the legacy of excellence by providing a centralized and more socially and environmentally responsible infrastructure for student-athletes to meet their full potential and to inspire Buckeye fans, along with all campus visitors, to live more sustainable lives.


About USG: USG Corporation is an industry-leading manufacturer of building products and innovative solutions. Headquartered in Chicago, USG serves construction markets around the world through its United States Gypsum Company and USG Interiors, LLCsubsidiaries and its international subsidiaries, including its USG Boral Building Products joint venture. Its wall, ceiling, flooring, sheathing and roofing products provide the solutions that enable customers to build the outstanding spaces where people live, work and play. Its USG Boral Building Products joint venture is a leading plasterboard and ceilings producer across Asia, Australasia and the Middle East. For additional information, visit


About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 55th year, is the professional and educational Association for more than 15,700 college athletics administrators at more than 1,700 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 6,500 athletics administrators annually attend NACDA & Affiliates Convention Week. Additionally, NACDA manages 17 professional associations and three foundations. For more information on NACDA, visit


PRESS WRITTEN BY Candace Johnson, OSU Communications; Graham Oberly, Ohio State Athletics Sustainability Contact; COURTESY OSU ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS



Buckeyes catcher Dillon Dingler drafted by Detroit Tigers in 2nd Round of 2020 MLB Draft

Dillon Dingler (10) after scoring a run (courtesy

June 11, 2020

Dingler is the highest Buckeye draft pick since Ronnie Dawson was taken in second round in 2016


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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dillon Dingler, a junior on the Ohio State baseball team, was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the first pick of the second round of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft Thursday afternoon. The North Canton, Ohio, native who was taken with the 38th overall pick, is the 107th Buckeye taken in the history of the Major League Baseball Draft and the 12th taken in the first or second round.


Dillon Dingler

Dingler is the highest Buckeye draft pick since Alex Wimmers went with the 21st pick of the opening round of the 2010 MLB Draft to the Minnesota Twins.


“I’m really excited for the future and to have the opportunity to put on the Tigers jersey,” Dingler said. “I was very fortunate to have a great baseball program in high school and then loved my time at Ohio State. The athletics program is second to none and has prepared me for this. I’ve been really fortunate to play for Coach Beals and to be a Buckeye.”


Named a Collegiate Baseball Third Team All-American, Dingler tied with Indiana’s Grant Richardson for the Big Ten lead with five home runs and his .760 slugging percentage ranked second in the conference and 23rd nationally in a shortened 2020 season. The two-time team captain hit all five of his long balls in the last five games, going 10-for-21 while adding two doubles, 11 RBI and eight runs scored. The three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection posted a 1.828 OPS in his last five games and was riding a team-best seven-game hitting streak.


For the year, the catcher led Buckeye regulars with a .340 (17-for-50) batting average to go along with a team-high four doubles, a triple, five home runs, 14 RBI and 12 runs scored. In the Buckeyes’ win at North Florida March 10, Dingler became the first Buckeye in three years to hit three long balls in one game. The game was named the No. 10 individual offensive performance of the season by Baseball America.


In his three-year career, Dingler has played in 115 games, hitting .276 with 21 doubles, four triples, 12 home runs, 74 RBI and 50 runs scored. The graduate of Massillon Jackson High School was named Second Team All-Big Ten and a member of the Big Ten All-Tournament Team as a sophomore and was selected as part of the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2018.




Ohio State Women’s Basketball adds Providence transfer Hevynne Bristow

Hevynne Bristow (courtesy Providence Athletics)

June 12, 2020


Bristow appeared in 29 games last season as a freshman at Providence

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff announced on Monday the addition of Hevynne Bristow for the 2020-21 season. Bristow is a transfer from Providence and will sit out this upcoming season due to NCAA transfer protocols. She has three years of eligibility remaining.

“I’m excited to add Hevynne to our program,” said McGuff. “She is a great kid that I think will add a lot to our team both on and off the court. Her mix of size and length and athleticism will be a perfect fit for our program.”

Bristow appeared in 29 games, including making three starts, in 2019-20 as a freshman at Providence. She averaged 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game last season. Bristow played her prep ball at Brooklyn Community of Arts and Media where she was a top-100 recruit and recorded over 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists.

Hevynne Bristow
6-1, Guard
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Brooklyn Community of Arts and Media/Providence

·         Appeared in 29 games with three starts in her freshman season at Providence in 2019-20

·         Averaged 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in her one year with the Friars

·         Recorded a season-high nine points and seven rebounds vs. Villanova on Dec. 29

·         Attended Brooklyn Community of Arts and Media prior to Providence

·         Ranked among top-100 players in the Class of 2019, according to All-Star Girls’ Report

·         Recorded over 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists during her career at BCAM

·         Two-time NYSSWA Class A All-State selection, including first-team accolades in 2018-19





Ohio State Athletes performing well in Classroom

Ohio State Posts Outstanding APR Numbers

Ohio State notches 995 APR in 2018-19


Online Release

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Programs in the Ohio State Department of Athletics have been outstanding in the classroom recently, as evidenced by Academic Progress Rate numbers released Tuesday.


In the 16th year of APR data for most teams, the scores provide a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for academic eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team’s academic performance. The most recent APR scores are based on a multi-year rate that averages scores from the 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years.


Dr. John Davidson, Ohio State Faculty Athletics Representative, noted the impressive performance as a department overall.


“This was a remarkable year for the Buckeyes in the Academic Progress Rate, a key measure of student-athlete academic success. The most recent single-year statistics show that 21 Ohio State teams received all the points possible for academic eligibility and retention and our athletics programs as a whole averaged an amazing 995/1000 – by far the highest in recent memory.”


Among the highlights …

·       For the 2018-19 school year, Ohio State student-athletes combined for a 995 single-year APR, with 21 teams posting perfect 1000 scores.

o   Teams with 1000 scores: men’s basketball, men’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s gymnastics, men’s soccer, men’s swimming, men’s tennis, men’s track and field, men’s volleyball, women’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s fencing, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s ice hockey, women’s lacrosse, softball, women’s swimming, women’s tennis, women’s volleyball and rifle.

·       Twenty-three teams either increased their single-year score or maintained a perfect score.

·       Looking at multi-year scores, 11 teams have scores of 990 or better and 23 are at 980 or higher.

o   990+ teams: men’s cross country, men’s fencing, men’s golf, men’s tennis, men’s volleyball, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s soccer, women’s swimming, women’s tennis, women’s volleyball.

o   Teams with 980-989: football, men’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, women’s cross country, women’s rowing, women’s fencing, field hockey, women’s ice hockey, women’s lacrosse, softball, women’s track and field and rifle.


Last week, six Ohio State teams – men’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s soccer and men’s tennis – were honored with Public Recognition Awards. The awards are given each year to teams scoring in the Top 10 percent in each sport based on their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR). All six had perfect 1,000 multi-year APR scores.


In 2019-20, the Buckeyes had an outstanding year in the classroom, with 647 named Ohio State Scholar-Athletes. In addition, 206 have received Academic All-Big Ten honors, with spring and at-large sports to be recognized later this spring. This spring, 172 current and former student-athletes earned degrees, joining 79 graduates combined from the Summer and Autumn 2019 terms.




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